Finances

After eight months, this whole sharing my monthly purchases thing is not getting any easier. The vulnerability required is tough and I constantly find myself justifying purchases and being tempted to hide certain things from you. This month (March), Husband and I really took a deep look at our budget. We had become lazy, undisciplined and downright selfish with our money. When I say “we”, I really mean “me”, but it makes me feel better to know I have a partner in this whole money mess.

Although we put some guidelines in place mid-month to address our problem areas (shopping, personal care, eating out, giving and saving), March was no exception. Looking back at my monthly Purchase History, I can identify a few of my habits and thought behaviors that I should probably start working on.

1) I pretend that books don’t count against the budget because they’re “educational”. False. If you don’t have the money, you don’t have the money. I bought two books in March, neither of which I need. One because I read about it on a blog and thought it would be helpful for styling my blog posts and the second because I needed to spend more for free shipping, which brings me to…

2) I justify purchases to receive free shipping or other discounts. Danger. I need to stop. Or at least try to find items I need for gifts instead of extras for myself.

3) I feel like I “need” new clothes for special occasions / events. In March, I had my first TV appearance on D Living. In my head, this of course meant I needed a new dress. I knew I didn’t have a lot of money in the budget, so I only spent $40 on one at JCPenney. I do like it, but I definitely didn’t need it. And while I was at the store, I stumbled upon some lace shorts from the new Joe Fresh collection. I don’t regret these. They were cheap and I love them.

4) I really love following trends. Hence the mirrored patterned tunic I bought. I also tend to justify these because I use them in my outfit posts, right or wrong.

5) I prefer expensive make up. I am not a beauty junkie. All of my make up can fit into one small zippered pouch. I only own two perfumes, both gifts. And I rarely make an impulse beauty purchase. However, I do tend to spend a lot of money in this category. Once I find something, a color or brand, that works for me, I am pretty loyal. Even if that means shelling out $30 for a lipgloss. I’ll be honest, I am not ready to give that up.

6) I have a thing for organizational products. They’re not pictured, but a plastic pasta containeraccordion files (a new set for 2013), a dish drying mat and shelves to organize my spices also made my Purchase History for March. Exciting, right? They’re obviously non-essentials, but they make my life cleaner, more organized and subsequently less stressful. I just hate that they count against the budget, so I tend to pretend they don’t. Seriously, I must think money grows on trees. My poor husband. Working on this.

7) I hate spending money on quick fixes. If I’m going to spend money on something I plan on having / needing long-term, I’d rather invest in something of quality that I absolutely love. For example, Husband and I finally decided that we do in fact need some window treatments for security reasons. Of course, I could run over to Ikea and pick up some cheap rods and panels, but not only would I hate them, but we’d never have the motivation to replace them. My expensive taste can definitely cause some problems.

These are just a few things I am learning about myself as a result of these posts. Good stuff, maturing stuff, life-changing stuff. I hope it brings y’all encouragement, too. All of us are in very different places when it comes to our financial situations. Regards if your racking it in, barely getting by, drowning in debt or hoarding for the apocalypse, evaluating your spending patterns and rational can be really eye-opening. I just encourage you not to compare to others. We all have different priorities and responsibilities. So after that extremely long intro, here’s my March Purchase History:

// Purchase History: March 2013 by Modern Eve

What I bought in March :: Plate to Pixel by Helene Dujardin // The New York Times, 36 Hours USA & Canada: Southwest & Rocky Mountains by Barbara Ireland // Jeans from Nordstrom // Floral top from Forever21 // Lace shorts (no longer available) and dress from JCPenney // Foundation from Make Up For Ever // Lipgloss (in glaze) from Chanel // Desk Chair from CB2* // Picture frames from Michaels // Dish drying mat from Bed Bath & Beyond // Accordion files and pasta container from The Container Store // Shelves from IKEA // Custom drapery rods from Antique Drapery Rod Co.

*Technically this is a business expense, which I don’t include, but I love this chair and wanted to share.

What I was gifted in March :: Earrings (in turquoise and emerald) from Addison Weeks // Bracelet from Frippery Vintage // Boots (in brown), booties and sandals (in marigold) from Minnetonka // Earrings from Elizabeth Cole via GiltCity // Bras from Wacoal // Earrings, floral dress and chambray dress from Old Navy // Blue Dot Stilt Floor Lamp and Robert Abbey Delta Lamp (in celandron) from Lumen Light + Living // Wire shelving unit and extra wire shelves from The Shelving Store

Things I bought and returned in March :: Floral top (in desert flower) from Sears // Bracelet (in green) from Madewell // Lazy Susan from Bed Bath & Beyond

*This includes all clothing, accessories, home decór, craft supplies, make-up etc. This list does not include food, toiletries, household cleaning supplies, gifts, items for Husband, bills, fees for personal services, travel expenses or business expenses.

Click Here to read all of Modern Eve’s Purchase History columns // Tweet at me using the hashtag #PurchaseHistory